Via social media, readers responded to the Keizertimes article about the proposed public spaces camping ban based in part on the City of Salem’s ban. The Keizer City Council unanimously approved the ordinance at the January 6 session.

Here some selected responses:

 Allowing camping in public places is not helping the transitional housing population. We are turning a blind eye to their needs and endangering the public and children who use these public places. We need to partner with Salem to develop transitional housing zoning in the city to allow Conestoga Hut Micro-Shelters adjacent to any service agencies out of a commercial/business zone. The Conestoga Huts will allow locking so that their worldly belongings are secured while they are seeking social services help. Keeping camping in public areas is not helping anyone and endangering the public. Let’s stop ignoring the problem and actually help.

— Lore Christopher

Where are they supposed to go? They literally are being banned every where. They exist and they aren’t just gonna disappear no matter how many times we ban them from places. We have to deal with this head on and put our effort into finding a permanent solution instead of a 10 minute solution.

— Rikky Galvin

Set an example. Don’t be like Salem. Everyone needs help at some point. If you can’t help at least dont hurt.   

— Shauna Weis

What it will come down to is where the money will come from for the shelters and who wants it near their backyard.

— Scott Bailon

Law of the land is you can’t ban camping in public places unless you provide alternatives. Are we going to provide an alternative?

— John Robinson

I don’t think we need to follow Salem on this issue. We already have the curfew and I think a camping prohibition would only turn our already burdened police officers into an eviction squad (as you can see some are already doing).

Salem’s going about it the wrong way. First they kicked the homeless out of the park. Then they kicked them out from camping next to the only place that would help them. Now businesses are using the police department like a clean up crew because the problem is unsightly. Only adding to the response times of actual emergencies with no resolution in sight.

It’s just creating more problems for the people, the police and the city. That should be an example of what not to do.

Keizer better step up and enforce the laws that already exists or they’re going to get all the crackhead, dope fiend criminal addicts from everywhere including Salem when everybody else puts a end to this stupidity.

— Devin Newstrand